A $4 million childcare centre opening in Newcastle West on Monday is believed to be the city’s first “above ground” facility.
The Go Kindy centre at 745 Hunter Street is a Core Project Group development that has car parking on the ground and first floor, Go Kindy on the second and third floor and A-grade commercial office space on the top floor.
Go Kindy managing director Chris Passfield, who owns 14 other centres mainly in the Hunter, said he hoped the centre would set a Newcastle and industry benchmark.
“There have been lots of challenges because nothing like this has been happened in Newcastle before,” he said.
“We’ve even had people say ‘Where do the children play’, because they can’t get their heads around having a childcare centre in a multifaceted building.”
The 106-place centre for children aged from 6 weeks to six years has a large outdoor playground with an artificial gum tree, a water feature and a 40-metre mural of Newcastle by local artist Mitch Revs. There are rooms for different age groups and designated art and craft zones. There is also a multipurpose room for yoga and language lessons.
There are 30 car parks for parents dropping off children, plus an overflow area.
“The idea was to take the stress away from the morning, to make it more enjoyable because everyone benefits, from the children to our educators,” Mr Passfield said.
He said the daily fees, including meals, was $110 for children aged three and above and $120 for younger children, were “nearly the cheapest in the area”, with the childcare rebate available.